HD digital animation, audio

Digital Artefacts (Chernobyl)

An “artefact” is an anomaly observed or any unintended matter in the failure of a digital process, especially one introduced by a new or experimental technology. In this body of work, I have created a series of Digital Artefacts; derived from a collection of 3D scanned objects generated during a research expedition to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The fragmented matter in the images and animation is the product of the failed technological process by which they were produced. More aptly, this emergent, self-organizing matter is generated from the intended malfunction of the 3D scanner, resulting in the digital entropy, or fragmentation, of the resultant object.

Contrary to the approach of archaeology, that as the natural transition of material, or entropy, increases, information and potential meaning decreases; I am interested in the inverse; as entropy increases, meaning has the potential to increase. Thus, these Digital Artefacts are rendered as the source of fragmentation, and in that manner, move toward a non-anthropocentric archaeology, wherein the agency of the fragmented matter, autonomous of the whole object, can lead to a deeper meaning. Devoid of nostalgia and bereft of reconstruction, these generated Digital Artefacts focus rather on the undoing as a more accurate understanding of a place and time.

This exploration is a response to the culturally constructed belief in perpetual growth, through material, territorial, capital, and more specifically, technological gains, also known as human progress. In doing so, I look to re-contextualize the ideological narrative that human progress is infallible, and instead view it as an emergent expression of nature that is inherently both dynamic and chaotic. I contend with the catastrophe of Chernobyl not just simply as an event optimizing technological failure but instead as an example of the complex relationship humans have with progress. In this work, I explore technological advancement as an adaptation of our evolutionary biology; from a primal pre-cultural era to its current expression in culture as seductive hyper-commercial imagery, branding, and advertising.

Midwest, U.S.A